3 oktober 2007

Bunta ブンタ

I am not a great animal lover. Despite being surrounded by cats, guinea-pigs, parakeets and a dog during childhood, I have never developed a real interest in the alive, but non-human creatures around me. My parents' dog, Sjors, does not even really greet me anymore when he sees me. And I have never truly cared.

But something is different now. I find myself struck with this feeling of sympathy for my hostfamily's dog, Bunta. This young Golden Retriever lives in this house, in the middle of Tokyo, where there is no place for him to run around freely or pee freely to designate his territory. He is walked two times a day and when it rains he gets put on a red raincoat. His trainer comes to our house eleven times a month for the first six months of his life to make this animal adapt to life in Tokyo.

Somehow I do not buy my hostdad's explanation that dogs are happy being subjected to humans, not in this situation. So, over the past weeks I have been lobbying to get Bunta something soft to sleep on, I have made soft objections to the raincoat and I feel a constant urge to break the strict regime the dog is subjected to. Only to realize next, that this dog is not my dog, and that I should keep quiet.

But yesterday Bunta was suddenly a lot less naughty as he normally is. The constantly rising and falling temperatures here must have taken their toll on his body. So, now he finally got the blanket to sleep on. And I am worried, really worried. So worried that I have just allowed Bunta to have a nap on my bed (on that blanket he was given yesterday though), something he has been nagging me to allow for the past weeks. Finally giving him what he wants, I feel better and a bit guilty as my hostparents will probably disagree.

Bunta politely lies down for 10 minutes, then jumps off, and returns to his usual spot, in front of the door, waiting for my hostmum to come home.

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